february 1958


Happy Birthday Keith Haring!

(May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

“The public needs art — and it is the responsibility of a ‘self-proclaimed artist’ to realize that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses.”  

 – Keith Haring –


Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

“See, when I paint, it is an experience that, at its best, is transcending reality. When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, of the total consciousness, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.”

Tank in front of Fa'iq Hassan’s mural “Peace”, following the February coup, al-Tayaran Square, Baghdad, 1963

دبابة أمام جدارية فائق حسن “السلام"، بعد إنقلاب شباط، ساحة الطيران، بغداد، ١٩٦٣

the-mobian-blogger  asked:

Hello Hello, noticed that you know your stuff when it comes to Toku so I was hoping you could answer a tricky question. Can you name some old Toku heroes that seem distinguished from each other? (Excluding Sentai, Riders, and Metal Heroes.) (If you're curious why, feel free to PM me.) =v=''

Sure!  By old I assume you mean pre-1980s so I’ll limit myself to the era between the 1950s and 1970s.  Now, a lot of the older heroes are either missing episodes or most of the series is missing so I can only really mention them in passing.  The first actual TV Tokusatsu hero was Moonlight Mask/Gekko Kamen from 1958.

He rode a motorcycle, wore a mask, had a scarf and dispensed justice from the barrels of his twin six-shooters in a total of 131 episodes from February 24, 1958 to July 5, 1959. Sadly, a lot of the first few episodes are missing, which isn’t uncommon for TV series of this vintage.

Another TV hero from 1958 was Planet Prince.  

This series may be more well-known in the US for the theatrical movie version which changed up the main character’s costume to include a full mask and was released here as Prince of Space and featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

A lost series from this era features a character called Messenger of Allah, who looks somewhat similar to Moonlight Mask above though with a more “Arabian Knights” theme.

Skipping ahead a bit to 1967 we get Toei’s first color tokusatsu hero show, Masked Ninja Red Shadow/Kamen no Ninja Aka Kage.  This was a hero show with a difference, being set not in the modern day but in the late 16th Century. The heroes are Ninja with special powers who fight evil and monsters.

Entering the 1970s we have and explosion of unique tokusatsu heroes.  Sticking with the more Ninja-esque themes we get Toei’s Henshin Ninja Arashi:

and P Productions’ Kaiketsu Lion Maru.

At about this same time, Toei produced Shotaro Ishinomori’s android hero Kikaider. This was an interesting one with a lasting impact and introduced a conflicted hero built for evil but made good with an imperfect conscience circuit constantly warring against his own programming. This was a pretty fertile time for Ishinomori’s heroes as in addition to a Kikaider sequel (Kikaider 01) he also had Inazuman (a mutant bug-man) and Kaiketsu Zubat (a costumed vigilante guitar player) on the small screen.

By far his strangest hero show though was the Three Musketeers as Demons series Akumaizer 3.  The protagonists were three non-human demons who worked with humanity to fight off their own people to prevent harm coming to innocents.

Go Nagai, who is more famous for his anime work, also got in on the tokusatsu craze of the 1970s with two very interesting shows.  The first is Battle Hawk, a series with a trio of heroes empowered my magic tomahawks (a theme Go Nagai enjoyed) given to their mentor by a mysterious Native American tribe that transforms them into heroes with axes for weapons.

The stranger one though is Star of Pro-Wrestling Axteckaizer which combined professional wrestling, tokusatsu heroes and animation in a very different way.

Most of the series featured live action but the end of every fight scene switched to animation to show off the strange wrestling moves that would have been impossible given the budget of the show and the limitations of the way human bodies bend.

These are just a few of the more notable non-franchise series of the older days of tokusatsu.  There are so many more to look into that I just don’t have the time to list here but these above are some that stand out to me or I find notable for their place in the history of the medium.

Thanks for the question!

Scan - George Harrison outside Upton Green, Liverpool, 1950’s, scanned from I Me Mine. Photo © Harrison Family.

It was most likely on 6 February 1958, when The Quarrymen performed at Wilson Hall, Garston, that George Harrison joined The Quarrymen.

“I first saw the Quarrymen when they were playing at the Wilson Hall at Garston. Paul was playing with them and said I should come and see them. I’d probably have gone anyway, just for the night out and to see if I could get in any groups. With knowing Paul, I was introduced to John.
There was this other guitarist in another group that night, Eddie Clayton. He was great. John said if I could play like that, I could join them. I played ‘Raunchy’ for them and John said I could join. I was always playing ‘Raunchy’ for them. We’d be going somewhere on the top of a bus with our guitars and John would shout out, ‘Give us “Raunchy”, George.’” - George Harrison, The Beatles Authorized Biography [x]


Let’s start with the earlier show, Moonlight Mask a.k.a. Gekko Kamen.

Moonlight Mask was the first Japanese TV Superhero, paving the way for all others to come.  The series premiered in February of 1958 on was is now TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and told the tale of the mysterious masked hero who rode a motorcycle into action and dealt his foes harsh justice from the point of a gun. The series was an immense hit and spawned movies (produced by Toei for their first involvement with tokusatsu heroes) and a comic series.  However, children began to copy the stunts they saw on the program and it tragically resulted in a child jumping to his death while doing so.  Out of fear of liability, the series was cancelled in 1959 after the final story arc for a total of 130 episodes. 

As for Kamen Rider Amazon, that’s a story of excess and pushing the limits coming back to bite the creators.

The 1974 entry in the popular Kamen Rider franchise broke away from the bug motif to create a hero based on a lizard.  He was less of a skilled martial artist than his predecessors and relied on brute strength and animal ferocity in his fight against the evil forced of Geddon. The creators pushed things perhaps a bit too far with the bloody fight scenes and dismemberment of his foes that were the hallmark of the early episodes of the show.

Understandably, parents groups were not really thrilled with the spurting blood, hacked off limbs and a hero who would bite his foes.  Worried their children might start imitating these violent moves, getting hurt or hurting others, they pressured the stations airing the show and the studio to tone it down.  Even though they did make and effort to remove most of the more graphic content it was too little, too late and the show became the only entry in the Kamen Rider franchise to be cut short with only 24 of a planned 50+ episodes.

That’s the reason the show’s spiritual successor, Kamen Rider Amazons now airs exclusively on the Amazon Prime streaming service and is aimed at a much, much older audience.

This was also not the last time parents groups would have an impact on an airing series.  Just this year, concerns about the hip-thrusting dance used during the closing credits of Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger prompted a quick change to a less provocative motion and, from what I have read, a new ending theme coming soon.

Trindel Wedding Headcanons

Someone else posted their Trindel wedding headcanons and I thought I’d share my own. There is some debate in Fandom over whether Trindel’s wedding took place in 1979 or 1980, but I’ve chosen to place it in 1979 since May 27th 1980 was a Tuesday and who gets married on a Tuesday night?

  • Mendel and Trina get married in the little courtyard in Trina’s building (I’ve always imagined Trina to be living in a first floor apartment since she mentions letting a dog out, although she could just be letting the dog out to go shit in the hallway) and have the reception in the apartment since there aren’t a ton of guests.
  • Mendel invites his parents (his aunts and uncles live mostly out of town or have passed away— that’s a headcanon I’ll save for another post), his four sisters and their children and significant others. Trina invites her parents, her sister, her brother-in-law, and her niece. Mendel feels bad that he invited so many more people than Trina did, but Trina doesn’t really care. Jason is allowed to invite two guests. He invites a friend from his school’s chess club but the friend isn’t allowed to go because it’s a school night. He also invites Whizzer. Trina feels a little weird about that because he and Marvin still have drama, but Jason points out that Marvin’s not going to the wedding so Trina lets Jason invite him.
  • Trina plans to just get married in her nicest dress since she isn’t having a big showy wedding that would require a big showy dress, and she obviously doesn’t want to wear her first wedding gown. She decides to wear her mother’s old wedding gown even though it’s a little too short for her and has been in a bag in her mother’s closet since 1942. Trina’s mother is delighted, and Trina looks great in the dress.
  • Mendel, in turn, borrows a tux from his own father since the last tux he wore was in the Great Weisenbachfeld Bar Mitzvah Fiasco of February 1958 (in which Mendel’s youngest sister Frances, then only about six months old, loudly passed gas throughout the entire service and everyone thought it was Mendel). Mendel’s father is not tall, but he’s taller than Mendel, and the tux is baggy. Mendel is mortified but Trina doesn’t care.
  • Only two of Mendel’s sisters end up showing up to the wedding (the younger ones). Naomi has a bazillion kids and doesn’t feel like wrangling them all onto the train, and Helen is one of those people who moved to the East Side and won’t go crosstown even for her own brother’s wedding. Deborah and Frances show up two hours early and hog the bathroom putting on inappropriate amounts of makeup (they’re 28 and 22 respectively in 1979). Jason goes into the bathroom for a last minute pee five minutes before the wedding and nearly chokes to death on his new step-aunts’ hairspray fumes. Needless to say, Deborah and Frances are EXTREMELY prepared for the 1980s.
  • Their “something old” is Trina’s wedding dress, their “something new” is their wedding officiant (the first female rabbi to be ordained in North America), their “something borrowed” is Mendel’s tux, and the official wedding yarmulkes are the “something blue.”
  • Trina’s niece has horrendous allergies to practically every flower on the planet so instead of flowers decorating the chuppah, Trina borrows Christmas lights from the neighbors.
  • Jason and Whizzer make the cake. Jason thinks he has it under control because he watches Trina bake all the time, and he kicks Whizzer out until it’s decorating time. What they have is an absolutely GORGEOUS cake that tastes like lukewarm garbage. The second Jason’s out of the house, Mendel disposes of the cake by tossing it in a dumpster near Riverside Park. Jason is none-the-wiser until a few days later when he sees a raccoon smearing itself with an oddly-familiar shade of frosting.
  • The rabbi is a Chaplain at Lenox Hill Hospital who Helen met during her husband’s appendectomy. Unlike Helen, however, Rabbi Sally IS willing to travel to the West Side.
  • Because Naomi and Helen (the only siblings of Mendel’s who have kids) don’t attend, Mendel and Trina are left high-and-dry in regards to the ring bearer and flower girl. Jason and Allison (Trina’s niece) pinch-hit, but they both feel way too old to be doing it despite the fact that neither of them have hit their teens and Jason won’t even be eleven until the summer.
  • Trina is neither Mendel’s first girlfriend nor his first sexual experience but she is his first serious long-term partner. Mendel’s parents adore her and they practically hold Mendel hostage over the phone for two hours the day before the wedding imploring him not to fuck it up. Mendel’s mother is less harsh than his father on this issue, but she practically gives him an aneurysm with the TMI on how to please a woman. After the phone call, Mendel prays for the first time since his bar mitzvah, imploring God to never let him hear his mother say the word “climax” again.
  • Trina and Mendel both get the giggles during their vows and make out for an uncomfortably long time after they are pronounced husband and wife. Trina gives a long-winded speech at the reception about how helpful Mendel has been with Jason, how wonderful it is to become part of his family, and how it all turned out for the best that they only had ten guests because that’s not enough people to lift them up on chairs and dance. Whizzer jokes that it will happen some day (spoiler alert: nope)
  • After the ceremony and reception, Trina’s family heads back to Westchester. Whizzer offers to let Jason stay with him overnight so that Mendel and Trina can have some alone time, but Whizzer lives too far from Jason’s school and has had a lot of champagne and Trina is concerned Whizzer won’t wake up in time to get Jason ready. Mendel’s parents decide to walk him to Marvin’s place and get cookies on the way because Jason feels rotten about ruining the cake. Mendel’s dad gives Jason “the talk” on the way there and Jason can’t look at Mendel for a week afterwards.
  • Mendel and Trina do not consummate their marriage on their wedding night because Mendel’s so overwhelmed with emotion (they’re happy tears, but still) and Trina feels weird about “schtupping” an openly sobbing man. They do enjoy a lovely cuddle though.
  • Trina’s mother and Mendel’s mother form an alliance at the wedding and take turns harassing their children for the next two years about the prospect of future grandchildren (despite the fact that Trina’s mother already has two and Mendel’s mother has a bazillion). They eventually get their wish in January 1982 with the birth of Elizabeth Taylor Weisenbachfeld (named after Whizzer’s favorite actress, and nicknamed “Whizzie” for short), after which they move uptown to a larger apartment in Marvin’s building, and the birth of Caroline Charlotte “CC” Weisenbachfeld and Marina Cordelia “Marnie” Weisenbachfeld in September 1983. Marnie is named after Marvin, who passes in the spring of 1983. I’ve always headcanoned Trina to be a few months along during “Holding To The Ground” as she contemplates bringing another life into an increasingly damaged world.